Active living for a healthier community in San Antonio, Texas
This thesis analyzes the relationship between access to parks in San Antonio, Texas and the health status reports of nearby residents. This study shows the impact of areas with high obesity rates and address where the problem is located and what can be done. Some areas of the City need more park spaces, redevelopment or redesign of park spaces.
Three parks were selected throughout the City in areas with high obesity rates. The analysis was conducted by site visits and observations. The observations were conducted of the park space and the surrounding neighborhood and it was concluded that the park spaces were being used for physical activity and they were accessible to the residents within the neighborhood.
An assessment of the health status of the residents was done using surveys and health behavior data conducted by the City. The surveys concluded the high threat of obesity within the City, especially concern for the South area where obesity and lack of physical activity is high.
The results of the survey were analyzed in-depth in regards to the South, West and East areas of the City which have the highest obesity rates and lack of park spaces. This is followed by a discussion of how to make better park spaces throughout the City and addresses the role of the planner to create more park spaces. Planners should promote public health through successfully integrating public spaces that encourage physical activity and interaction and offer a sense of community. Planners have the potential to reduce obesity in the community through changes in policy and in the built environment. Better park spaces have a role in public health in promoting a healthier community for people of all ages.